THE sight of young, wealthy football players blatantly flouting the confinement rules has angered many, reinforcing the feeling that we are “not all in this together”. In the English Premiership, probably the most notorious incident (so far) was Aston Villa star Jack Grealish crashing his car after a night out with friends – a few hours after posting a video urging fans to stay indoors and respect the law. Mason Mount from Chelsea and Declan Rice (West Ham) received a warning for playing football in a London park while Kyle Walker (Spurs) hosted a sex party with a fellow player and two prostitutes.
Here in La Liga two Celta Vigo players sent home to wait out the State of Alarm swiftly decamped to their home countries – Pione Sisto driving 3,000 kilometres to Denmark and Fyodor Smolov catching a flight to Moscow. In France PSG fans were less than pleased that star player Neymar received special dispensation to return to his family in Brazil. In the period since he has posted multiple shots of him partying and generally enjoying himself, most recently playing beach soccer with a group of friends.
Critics say that while the incidents in isolation are not deadly serious, they are more worried about the huge influence these players have on young fans. If they see their role models behaving like this, why should they respect the lockdown, the argument goes?
Neymar Jr relaxing after a bout of beach soccer in Brazil this week.